Richard, you know, I have a lot of 35mm stuff, you're welcome to try it out. I think you will find my fm2n and my om1 particularly appealing. You might like the f100, I dunno. You know where I am, come 'n get 'em
I will break the mold and talk about what I own and then what I think you might like (because I wish I owned it)
What I own
Nikon N65 Light weight, easy to use, good auto focus, good metering, built in flash (read light weight as plastic, but not cheep). The down side to this is that in Manual exposure mode you have to use a shift key to change the aperture. Can be yours yours about $30 on the bay
Nikon N90s Rugged, fast focus, great metering, this camera can do the quick-draw trick where you start with the camera at your side and off and swing it to your eye, turn it on and shoot it in less than a half second and get a well focused, correctly exposed shot (that sucks visually). The down side, Aperture is done on the lens, no built in flash, control layout is like no other Nikon it's similar but not the same, for TTL metering you need a newer flash. can be yours for about $50 on the bay
What would I want? I would drop the N65 for an N80, it is all the good things about the N90s, and has a better control layout than either. and a built in flash. On the downside it is heavier than the N65. Can be yours for about $50 on the bay, this is a lesser camera than the N90s and a better camera than the N65 and it gets the price it does because it is more user friendly than either especially if you are a Nikon D*** user.
Good luck, let us know what you do.
"Would you like it if someone that painted in oils told you that you were not making portraits because you were using a camera?"
"Shouldn't it be more about the joy of producing and viewing the photo than what you paid for the camera?"
I've had a Canon F1 N for over 20 years and I love the camera. FD lenses are good, plenty and cheap on Ebay. This is just one man's opinion of course
I don't know what you think of the Minolta line but there are some worthy contenders.
The SRT series is manual and built like a tank. For auto focus one of the many Maxxum cameras might fit what you need. The early ones were a bit too slow to focus and 'hunted' a lot but the newer ones are very quick. In between are the X series cameras with a wide range of auto exposure capability but still manual focus. Most all of them can be bought quite cheaply now. Minolta glass has always been up with the best.
In the spirit of Nicholas Lindan's post. I will not recommend any brand.
I would recommend a completely manual focus, manual shutter, no integrated light meter camera. Since it is bound to be old, send it out for clean, lube, adjust.
My point is that you should make the exposure, composition and focus decisions versus letting an autoexposure autofocus camera make any decisions. Your results will be more consistent, and you can take full credit or blame for any results.
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The Nikon N series is horrid 80s/90s era plastic bs with tons of features you do not need (eg autofocus). However its still fairly solid for a plastic-wielding body - you could do worse today. What you really want is a classic F series body without all of the bullshit. If you absolutely need autofocus you should really have a good reason for it - otherwise it's a crutch and easy grave to bad photography.
Stop worrying about grain, resolution, sharpness, and everything else that doesn't have a damn thing to do with substance.
Originally Posted by LyleB
Lets say there are 50 cameras to choose from. There are people who have chosen every one of those cameras. If everyone chooses just the ideal camera for them - a pretty tall order - it means there are 50 different criteria for the 'ideal camera'. The probability that my ideal camera is a perfect fit for someone else is 2%. The probability that my choice in a camera is the wrong choice for someone else is 98%.
I think if one is to recommend the camera they own it is important to state the downsides - what is wrong with the camera; what about it doesn't mesh with the poster's requirements; what other cameras were considered; what doubts persist about this particular choice. An 'unconditional recommendation' is probably the weakest of all recommendations.
In looking at the rankings in Consumer Reports when I am looking for a new washing machine I pay just as much attention as to what machines to avoid as I do to the ones that get a 'check rating'.
So, why do people always recommend the camera they own? Many reasons: It's the camera I have the most experience with, don't really know all that much about other choices and brands; I think I'm a smart consumer and so the camera I picked is the ideal camera (Why would I buy anything else?) and so it must be the ideal camera for everyone; If other people buy the same camera I own it validates my choice and eases any doubts I may have over my purchase; Maybe I can sell them my camera.
Last edited by Nicholas Lindan; 10-14-2010 at 12:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I agree, but you could also look up KEH.
Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac
Go back a few years in Canon history and get a F-1 New. I think you'll like it. Pro caliber (whatever that is), built like the proverbial brick outhouse, aperture or shutter speed auto depending on the setup and customizable. I seem to remember there was a EOS lens to FD bayonet adapter.
A few years ago, I decided to upgrade my 35mm gear. My 1st 35mm was a Konica TC. Loved that little camera, but wore it out. In the early 80's put together a kit around the Fujica AX3. Nice camera, but the electronic shutters were a crap shoot. I had picked up a few extra AX3 bodies off Ebay with the thoughts that my 2 kids could also shoot them. Most had shutter problems. I even purchased a New-Old-Stock AX3 body that didn't last a roll before the shutter quit, grrrrrrrrr.
After some research I decided on a Nikon FM3a, the last of the all manual Nikon 35mm cameras. I have 3 FM3a bodies and an FM2t body, a large selection of FAST Nikon lenses and just love it. One of my favorite uses of these is to photograh my friends young children on the dock at our lake house. The kids can't get too far away, the morning light is open shade and with an 85mm lens the photos are just magical.
If you would like to get together to put some Azo/Lodima through the darkroom and check out the cameras, I'd be happy to oblige.